When it comes to your vehicle’s dashboard lights, you never want to ignore them to prevent getting into significant vehicle’s problems. What’s even more important is a check light illuminating even after taking action to resolve the issue. That’s what happens when your change oil light illuminates; you will need to manually reset the warning light.
In this article, we will walk you through the reasons behind the change in oil light illumination. Then, we explain a step-by-step procedure on how to reset your change oil light after changing your vehicle oil.
It is important to note that our process is valid for most vehicles. However, if you felt that you could not follow along or something is different in your vehicle, it is better to refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for alternative information. Another option for you is to search online for a step-by-step change oil light reset for a specific vehicle.
What is the change oil light for?
Your vehicle uses warning lights to grab your attention for immediate action. In some scenarios, ignoring these lights can result in significant damages to important parts of your vehicle.
The oil change light illuminates whenever you have low oil, or your vehicle is due for an oil change in older vehicles. On the other hand, newer vehicles have separate lights for each issue.
Your vehicle’s internal computer triggers the oil change light using information from your car's odometer.
While people might monitor their vehicles' overall mileage, they might miss reading a couple of thousands of miles, putting their vehicles at very high risk.
Unfortunately, changing or adding more oil to your vehicle will not eliminate the oil change warning light. Therefore, you must reset the change oil light every time it illuminates, and you change the oil.
If you did not reset the change oil light, your vehicle’s internal computer would not understand when your vehicle is due for another oil change.
How to reset change oil light?
As we mentioned earlier, in this article, we provide a generic approach on how to reset the change oil light for most vehicles. If you did not find the same buttons or missed some of the steps, you might need to search for an oil change reset by the vehicle’s name.
Locate your vehicle’s oil change reset button
Within your vehicle’s dashboard and around the gauge, locate a switch, button, or stick with a “reset” name.
If you still can’t find the reset button, refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for more guidance. If you don’t have a copy of the vehicle’s owner’s manual, you can download a soft copy from the web or request a hard copy from your mechanic.
Once you find the switch, turn on the ignition without starting the engine. This way, you will have all dashboard lights turned on while the engine is not running.
Change the odometer’s display mode to show total mileage
Whatever your odometer is showing, make sure it's displaying the total driven mileage. Look through all the available display modes for your odometer and set it to showing total mileage driven.
Again, if it was not very clear to you how to do it, refer to the vehicle’s owner’s manual.
Once the odometer is showing the total driven mileage, turn off the ignition.
Press and hold the reset button, followed by turning the key
Place your finger on the reset button, then press and hold. While holding, turn on the ignition again.
As you hold the reset button, the change oil light should start blinking. Let the light blink for a couple of seconds before you release the reset button.
After that, you can now turn off the ignition.
Confirm that you’ve reset the change oil light successfully
To confirm that you’ve successfully reset the change oil light, follow the following additional steps:
- Turn on your engine
- Monitor the behavior of your change oil light
- If the light is still on, you need to repeat the previously mentioned steps. If the light is off, then you are done.
- If you could not reset the change oil light after a couple of trials, you might need to review the vehicle’s owner’s manual for more specific vehicle details or additional steps.
Change oil light came on after oil change
It is unfortunate to see the change oil light illuminating even after an oil change or resetting. Before taking any action, you must rule out the main culprit by first checking the light’s sensor.
Your change light sensor might get contaminated by foreign objects causing it to provide inaccurate information indicating a need for an oil change.
Automotive experts suggest its very simple to replace your check light’s sensor; however, if you don’t feel you have the necessary mechanical skills to replace it, you might need to visit a professional mechanic or a small repair shop job for you.
If the sensor is not the culprit, you might need to diagnose the oil’s pressure because a low oil pressure can trigger the change oil light to illuminate. It is not very common to have oil pressure problems after performing an oil change. However, you still need to confirm having the proper oil pressure. In general, an oil pressure below five pounds per square inch is considered very low.
Lastly, a faulty oil pump can also trigger the change oil light to illuminate. Unfortunately, this is the most critical scenario.
When the oil pump is not functioning properly, the oil will not be sent with the right amount at the right time to your engine. As a result, your engine might overheat due to friction between the moving part, resulting in engine self-destruction.
Change oil light came on early
Their many reasons beyond a first change oil light are illuminating.
One of the reasons could be a loss of an oil drain plug. If you or your mechanic did not tighten the oil drain plug, your vehicle loses the oil super fast, resulting in the first oil light change.
Another reason would be missing the old filter gasket. Some mechanics might forget removing the old filter, and as they install the new filter gasket, they squeeze the old one resulting in draining your engine’s oil very quickly.
Furthermore, using the wrong type of oil filter, you have a high chance of losing the engine’s oil quickly if the filter has large or loose threads.
The last possible reason for an early change oil light illuminating is not installing the oil filter cap. It might be straightforward to add the filter cap; however, it is very common for people to forget about it.
Is it safe to drive with the oil light on?
It is very dangerous to drive with a change oil light on. Remember, when the change oil light comes on, either the oil pressure is low, or the oil is due for a replacement.
In both cases, your engine doesn’t receive the appropriate amount of oil, resulting in your engine’s moving parts wearing out against themselves. Furthermore, this interaction between the moving parts without the appropriate amount of oil can cause a lot of heat due to friction leading to a complete engine failure.
Therefore, you must not drive your vehicle with a change oil light illuminating to avoid very costly repairs. Even if it will take you a little time or effort to change your engine’s oil, think about how much time and effort you will spend replacing your vehicle’s engine.
If your change oil light illuminates the bottom line, you must pull over and stop your vehicle immediately and request towing your car to the nearest repair shop as soon as possible.
It is important to keep an eye for any warning light on your dashboard. It is even more important to monitor the behavior of the warning light after resolving the problem.
Your change oil light is one of those light which requires manual reset after you perform an oil change or resolve low oil pressure issues. If you ignored the problem, your car’s internal computer wouldn’t know when to warn you about the next oil change due date.
In this article, we provided you with a step by step on how to reset the change oil light for most vehicles. If the procedure did not work for you, you might need to search for how to reset change oil light for a specific vehicle’s make, model, and year to get more specific guidance.
Suppose your change oil light illuminates while driving. In that case, you must stop your vehicle and seek assistance immediately to avoid getting involved in high repair costs due to a completely damaged engine due to overheating.